There are many reasons why I personally love literature in general.  One of the most important reasons for myself is that I can get lost in an entire new world, full of possibilities and endless adventures.  While it is still important to read YA Literature that sends a message of hope and survival it is almost just as important to have it serve as a retreat from the real world, no matter how easy or hard things might be at the moment.
One of my all time favorite YA Paranormal Series to get lost in has to be Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  Now I know that Buffy novels can be considered ‘old school’, but growing up in the 90s I loved the books and the show.  What more can you ask for: action, hotties, love interests, vampires, werewolves, evil, and witty banter and timeless one-liners.
One major aspect of this show that really helped me in hard times of any kind (from large to small) is  
If Buffy can deal with the Hellmouth and live on the edge of danger and death everyday, and still have family and friends and be happy, then maybe my problems aren’t that bad!

While of course Buffy’s world and the Hellmouth is not real, it was the way that she dealt with the extremeness of her life that really spoke to me.  I mean, she even died and came back – and yeah while she was ‘a little off’ for a bit, she came back full force (and even sung about it in the show).  It is the fact that she knows she and her friends could die literally every day, and yet she still gets up every morning to fight the big good fight (both figuratively and literally).  Imagine what kind of life that would be like, how alone you would feel, especially since you know others would think you were crazy if you told them you were a Slayer of demons.
Another aspect of the Buffy novels that I find appropriate to be a part of YA Saves is that while they deal with the Paranormal they also deal with human nature itself – and in a way the aspects that are Paranormal heighten and make more aware of the human aspects. So, let’s disregard the fact that all the lives in these books are in mortal danger everyday, just for a moment…..
Friendships are a key to life – I’m not talking about quantity but I’m talking about QUALITY.  Buffy, Willow and Xander (better known as the Scooby Gang) serve as a perfect example of what true friendship means.  While I’ll admit, I was more than once jealous of how close these three were, I looked to them when dealing with my own ‘friendship’ issues. We’ve all experienced the cattiness, and the gossip and the popularity issues that make up High School (and even in adulthood) – these are some of the many things that we have problems with while in High School.  The Scooby Gang was no different – – you have Willow, who is the bookworm, and Xander the cool-wanna-be, while Buffy fits all the physical attributes of popularity but associates with those that are considered “uncool” (and lets not forget the constant weirdness that surrounds her alllll the time).  These three are not popular at all.  But despite this, they realized what was important: Friendship.  Through thick and thin, disagreements, fights, deaths, these three manage to hold onto what is important. Even when Willow becomes “Dark Willow”, Xander stands by here no matter what, looking beyond the evilness (and the scary hair and spells on her skin).

Growing Up is something we all have to do, and while Buffy had to do this much more quickly than real humans, you can still see her falter on her way to becoming an adult.  You see this both in her relationships with men (including vampires) and in her actions of just growing up.  Despite the fact that she is the Slayer she can only see the man she loves in front of her, ignoring the future that they may not have together.  I am of course talking about Angel.  In this regard she is just like any normal teenager in love.  At the same time she finally comes to terms with what she must do and lets Angel leave Sunnydale, growing up.  For me, again, looking at all the Buffy had to deal with made what I had to go through growing up a bit more bearable.

Death is another aspect of reality the Buffy The Vampire Slayer dealt with perfectly, and I’m talking about going beyond staking vampires and killing demons.  The perfect example that I can think is the death of Buffy’s mother.  While not all of us have been unfortunate to loose a parent, when I lost my mother this was one of the resources that helped me understand what I was going through.  The death of her mother brought Buffy down to a real human level, knowing there were no special Slayer powers or witchy spells that could be used to bring her back – things I am sure we all wish we could do.

To make a long post short, Paranormal Literature offers more than just the paranormal, it offers a world for retreat, normal characters put in extraordinary situations, the extremity of reality and the world, and just plain fun! Paranormal literature is nice break from the hum drum of reality.  And what better way than do it Buffy Style!

I wanted to leave you with an amazing video I found that summarizes many of the Buffy Books and Episodes beautifully:
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